Research

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Research at the Department of Zoology

Our research span a very large spectrum, from nervous systems to ecosystems. We also work with many different organisms, on land as well as in the sea. We also participate in the multidisciplinary Centre for the study of Cultural Evolution.

Animal ecology

The ecology division has a long history of basic and applied research ranging from insects to large mammals. The research has today two main directions. One focus is on evolutionary ecology on mainly life history of insects with for example research on the ecology of butterflies. The second direction concerns the conservation ecology of mainly terrestrial vertebrates, typically exemplified in the Arctic fox project. However, there are big overlaps between these approaches with much fruitful collaboration with scientists from the other divisions and from other universities. At present there are four full professors, one lecturer, four scientists, eight post docs and nine PhD students. There are also a number of master students affiliated with the ecology division.

Ethology

In the Ethology division we study animal behavior mainly based on Tinbergen’s four questions. This means we are interested in i) the function and fitness effects of variation in behavior, ii) the developmental background to variation in behavior, iii) the mechanisms behind variation in behavior and iv) the phylogenetic patterns of variation in behavior. For this, we use an array of techniques spanning across field observations, lab experiments and phylogenetic comparative analyses to study behavior in different taxa.

Population genetics

In the division of population genetics we study intraspecific genetic variation and the micro-evolutionary processes that govern this variation. Our broad interest is focused in finding out how and why genetic variation is structured within and among populations of animals over geographic space and time. We use genomic tools to investigate the genetic mechanisms behind important phenotypic traits affecting fitness in an evolutionary context. We use large scale genotyping of marker loci, computer simulations, and theoretical modelling to investigate how anthropogenic factors affect genetic biodiversity and how management can be designed to maintain of genetic variation in animal populations.

Research station

A number of research project at the Department of Zoology is performed at Tovetorp research station.